Cranberry Brie Bites

Cranberry Brie Bites

These mini brie puff pastry appetizers are the ultimate make-ahead appetizer recipe.

They can be assembled and frozen, either baked or unbaked, weeks before a party. They reheat beautifully from frozen or thawed.  They even taste fabulous served both warm and at room temperature.

PREP TIME: 30 minutes        COOK TIME: 15 minutes        TOTAL TIME: 1 hour

Ingredients:

FOR THE CRANBERRY FILLING

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

FOR THE PUFF PASTRY BITES

  • 2 (10X10-inch) sheets puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator overnight ( I like Pepperidge Farm)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 4 ounces brie cheese, cold and cut into small pieces (about 1/4-inch cubes)

Directions:

  1. Prepare the cranberry sauce; Combine the cranberries, orange juice, water, honey, cinnamon, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 10 minutes, until the cranberries break down and thicken. Let cool. Taste and add additional salt, honey, or orange as desired. Make sure you are happy  with the flavor of the sauce, as it will have a big impact on the final taste of the bites.
  2. Unfold the thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface. With a rolling pin, gently roll the pastry so that it is an even 11-inch square. With a 1 1/2 inch round biscuit or cookie cutter, cut circles out of the pastry, leaving as little space as possible between each circle, about 48 rounds total from one sheet. (If you use a larger biscuit cutter, leave space between the circles, or have a smaller size sheet of puff pastry, please note that the recipe yield will be smaller.)
  3. Beat the egg in a small bowl, then lightly brush each pastry round. Top half of the pastry rounds with 1/4 teaspoon cranberry sauce and 1 small piece brie cheese, rind included.
  4. Carefully place the remaining pastry rounds on top of the brie and cranberry, brushed-egg-side down. Pinch the ends closed, then gently crimp the edges with a fork to secure. Prick each pastry with a fork to allow the air to escape. (if making ahead, see notes section below.) Repeat with second pastry sheet.
  5. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place pastry on the prepared sheet and brush lightly with egg. Bake for 12 to 16 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*IMPORTANT NOTE: Assembled but unbaked puff pastry bites can be placed on a parchment lined baking sheet and frozen. If freezing for later, still poke holes in the top but omit the exterior egg wash. Once frozen, remove the bites from the baking sheet and transfer to an airtight bag. When ready to bake, apply the exterior egg wash. Puff pastry bites may be baked from frozen or thawed in the refrigerator, then baked chilled, if baking from froze. keep the oven temperature the same, adding 3 to 5 minutes to the baking time. Pastry puffs may also be fully baked, then frozen, and will reheat well in the oven.